Footfall numbers in Scotland in April were 1.1% higher than a year ago, down from the 1.7% rise in March 2015.

But the shop vacancy rate in Scotland was 10.4%, a sharp rise from 9.7% in the previous quarter.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Like the curate’s egg, these figures are excellent in part. Footfall in Scotland’s shopping destinations has sprouted for a third successive month.

“Indeed shopper footfall has shown positive growth in Scotland in ten of the last twelve months, outshining the rest of the UK, and at a time when the popularity of online retailing has never been greater.

“Less encouraging though is the spike in the shop vacancy rate in our town centres. Vacancies have risen for a second successive quarter, and with one in every ten retail premises now empty the vacancy rate in Scotland now lies a smidgen above that of the UK as a whole.
“The SRC wants to see further momentum injected into the government’s town centres agenda with improved accessibility, more affordable parking, and action to address the bugbear of the cost and ease of doing business.”

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